Snacks / Appetizers

Fried Camembert With Avocado Salad, Salsa Verde, And Crisp Romaine Leaves

Fried Camembert With Avocado Salad, Salsa Verde, And Crisp Romaine Leaves

>
>
Seems like everybody loves fried camembert, yet few folks actually prepare it at home. Which is a mystery to me, since it is really quick and easy to prepare and it is versatile – it can be served as an appetizer, a main course or as a snack. Best of all, it is very economical. (After all, I am a poor retiree 😦  ).
In olden times, we used just one coat of simple breading. However, nowadays I like to use panko crumbs, which requires double breading. The texture is of course very different so you might want to experiment which one of the two versions you prefer. They are both great, it’s just a matter of personal preference.
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Salad  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
>

Fried Camembert With Avocado Salad, Salsa Verde, And Crisp Romaine Leaves

>

Fried Camembert With Avocado Salad, Salsa Verde, And Crisp Romaine Leaves

>

Fried Camembert With Avocado Salad, Salsa Verde, And Crisp Romaine Leaves

>

Fried Camembert With Avocado Salad, Salsa Verde, And Crisp Romaine Leaves

 

>

Fried Camembert With Avocado Salad, Salsa Verde, And Crisp Romaine Leaves

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>

>
>
>
>

Advertisements

Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet

Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet

>
>
About a week ago I read in a “respected” magazine that one should NEVER eat Sauce Hollandaise or one of its derivatives in a restaurant because hollandaise is NEVER made fresh to order, but rather before the service and then kept warm during the whole service.
What a load of crap !!! 😦
Admittedly, some restaurants may do this, but many restaurants who have one or two dishes with hollandaise on the menu will not waste the ingredients if there is no order for a particular service. It takes a professional cook or chef maybe 1 or 2 minutes to produce 2 portions of fresh hollandaise, so to do it “a la minute” (to order) is no problem at all.
When I was an apprentice and later as a young cook, we ALWAYS made hollandaise a la minute during a la carte service.
– The moral of this? always double-check before you take a story/advise for granted. 🙂
– Also, hollandaise is one of the easiest and quickest sauces to prepare.
– Have I mentioned that Sauce Hollandaise is one of the French mother sauces?
.
When I prepare a whole roasted whole chicken for Bella and myself, I usually eat both tights and all the scraps from the bones, including the neck, wings, and back, while Madam enjoys the two breasts (one per day). However, yesterday she kept begging for food while the chicken was still a while before being done, so I gave her a full portion of her own food (usually she gets only half that amount because she’ll eat some of my food later).
After I ate my usual part of the chicken, I removed all the skin and bones from the breasts, submerged it in salted water and kept it in the fridge until today, when I used it to prepare this Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet.
.
P.S.
Please note that both mushrooms and sauce hollandaise are optional in this classic dish.
P.P.S.
Nowadays, in most commercial venues, because of safety issues, hollandaise is made from powder or ready-made from a can, which eliminates the danger of eggs served at unsafe temperatures.
>
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
>

Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet

>

Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet

>

Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>

>
>
>
>

Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen (Swabian Onion Tart/Pie/Cake)

>
>
Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen is usually eaten in late Summer and early Fall, typically served with new wine, but fans (there are legions of them, including myself), will eat it year-round. As with any “traditional/classic” dish which is mostly prepared at home, there are many variations, most of them excellent. After all, it is pretty hard to screw up a simple dish like this, consisting of just a few basic ingredients –
Yeast Dough, (or shortcrust)
Creme Fraiche, (or, in a pinch, sour cream, which makes it slightly more tart)
Onions, sautéed, diced, (or sliced), anywhere from just transparent to caramelized
Bacon, (or not)
Chives (or not)
Caraway Seeds, (or not)
Eggs,
Salt & Pepper,
Round Pie Pan (or square or rectangular)
Deep Dish Springform (or large flat sheet pan) – because of the different heights, the ratio of onions to cream mixture also varies greatly.

>
I grew up eating Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen all the time, but even in the area where I lived, cooks (mostly housewives), were very flexible which the variation they would use.
The only exception was the Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen from the time I was but a small child until I was about 7 years old, after which time the village communal oven was not used anymore. Up ’til I was about 7 years old, we still had a communal oven in the village bakery, everybody followed the same regional, well-established recipe. During that time, most farmers wife’s baked huge sheet pan’s of Zwiebelkuchen in the communal oven (as well as the bread for the following week).
Because there where no refrigerators in farmers homes at that time, a good part of the Zwiebelkuchen was shared with friends and neighbors, so that nothing was wasted. This is how I got my first taste of Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen, since my Mom was a city girl and was not fond of cooking, baking or any other domestic chores. when I was about five, my family moved from a large City (Stuttgart) to the small Village of Gechingen, where my father inherited his childhood home from my grandparents, who, like their parents and their parents and their parents……… were farmers. Growing up in a rural environment was in part very great, and in another part very bad for a city boy. I never got used to some of the customs, way’s and restrictions the small-village life provided us with. (One of the biggest reasons why I left home to start an apprenticeship as cook before I was 14 years old)
But, all the food from this time, including Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen, became highly regarded favorites as I got older. To this day, I seek those dishes wherever I go. Sadly, most everywhere, many of these items are not valued anymore and have gone the way of so many old-fashioned things – they have just disappeared. Good food, dood customs, good manners and so many other good things we used to respect, love nurture and appreciate in the past are just gone. Those of us who still (or just newly, in some cases) are fond of the time-proven pillars of “the good old times”, can only hope that “old is new again” will one day soon again apply to most of the beloved standards of our past 🙂
Until then, when I crave Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen, I have to prepare it myself.
And now, don’t get me going about old-fashioned manners, customs, and decent behavior…….
Bit of a nostalgic, old farts rant there, but I feel better now 🙂
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  “Schwäbische Dishes”  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
Zwiebelkuchen Dough:
Use your favorite shortcrust dough or yeast dough.
Substitute with pre-made shortcrust dough, pizza dough, pre-baked Quiche crust or pre-baked pizza crust. I suggest you experiment until you find your favorite. It’s well worth the extra effort 🙂
>
>
>

Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen (Swabian Onion Tart/Pie/Cake)

>

Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen (Swabian Onion Tart/Pie/Cake)

>

Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen (Swabian Onion Tart/Pie/Cake)

>

Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen (Swabian Onion Tart/Pie/Cake)

>

>

>

Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>

>
>
>
>

Escargots A La Bourguignonne (Snails In Garlic-Herb Butter In The Style Of The Bourguignon)

Escargots A La Bourguignonne (Snails In Garlic-Herb Butter In The Style Of The Bourguignon)

Remembering  the “Good Old Times”, when I went to Germany I was looking forward to enjoy escargot as often as possible, since in the not so distant past, escargot was one of the dishes which one could find on the dinner menu of most restaurants, usually prepared “A La Bourguignonne” and served in their own shells, but also frequently as soup or in puff pastry.
I was disappointed to find that escargots have mostly gone the way of so many other delicacies ( Tortue “Lady Curzon,  Foie Gras, Duck a la PresseTurtle Steaks, Turtle Stews, Abalone Meunière,  Sole Véronique,  Crab Louie,  Trout Almondine,  Canard à l’Orange, just to mention a few…….
I did manage to find snails on two occasions on the menu, but sadly, both were but a shameful rendition of the once glorious dish (One was escargots a la Bourguignonne, which were burned on top and completely tasteless, the other was escargots in puff pastry, which was served in a soggy puff pastry shell, bound with a tasteless white sauce, deprived of even the slightest bit of the de rigueur Pernod, which is supposed to grace the sauce of escargots in cream.
So, as usual, in order to satisfy my craving, I had to prepare it myself at home. In the past, I have tried to find escargots in the grocery stores around here and sometimes scored, but in the past few years I was not able to find them anywhere anymore 😦 . Thank you Lord for the internet 🙂 . I ordered one dozen cans, which arrived a few days later and made me a happy man indeed.
Here now is the first version of Escargot I prepared…….
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
>

Escargots A La Bourguignonne (Snails In Garlic-Herb Butter In The Style Of The Bourguignon)

>

Escargots A La Bourguignonne (Snails In Garlic-Herb Butter In The Style Of The Bourguignon)

>

Escargots A La Bourguignonne (Snails In Garlic-Herb Butter In The Style Of The Bourguignon)

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>

>
>
>
>

Grilled Seafood Salad – Baby Octopus, Squid And Shrimp On Romaine In Honey/Lime Yogurt Dressing

Grilled Seafood Salad – Baby Octopus, Squid And Shrimp On Romaine In Honey/Lime Yogurt Dressing

>
After a recent bout of gluttony during my month in Europe, I have to lose at least the 15 lbs I gained, and if I continue on my present path of eating and drinking sensibly, maybe even shedding at least 20 lbs in the first month, and another 15 during the second month.
So far I have lost 13 lbs since my arrival 15 day’s ago. 🙂
I am not on a diet, just eating less in general, smaller portions and instead of 2 or 3 large meals a day, only one, with lot’s of fruit and tiny snacks in between. Other than that, I basically eat what I feel like. Pasta (tiny portions), rice (tiny portions), potatoes (tiny portions). Meat and seafood (large portions), fruit (large portions) and huge amounts of salad of any kind, form, and shape, mostly greens with some kind of protein, such as the seafood salad featured here. I have the occasional glass of wine, lots of iced tea and water and a large pot of coffee daily. Breakfast usually consists of a large bowl of starch-free vegetable soup and peppermint tea, alternating on other days with apples and power bars.
So far since I started this, I have not felt hungry and have a lot more energy than when I started this 2 weeks ago.
.
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
P.S.
If you’d like to lose weight while eating and drinking well, you might want to check this out:
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD ON CHEFSOPINION”

>
Click here for more Salads  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
>

Grilled Seafood Salad – Baby Octopus, Squid And Shrimp On Romaine In Honey/Lime Yogurt Dressing

>

Grilled Seafood Salad – Baby Octopus, Squid And Shrimp On Romaine In Honey/Lime Yogurt Dressing

>

Grilled Seafood Salad – Baby Octopus, Squid And Shrimp On Romaine In Honey/Lime Yogurt Dressing

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>

>
>
>
>

Cauliflower Salad “Madras”

Cauliflower Salad “Madras”

>
>
Before  anybody get’s their knickers in a twist about “real” Curries, let me explain something.
Many years ago, whenever we used commercially available, pre-mixed curry powder in Europe, more often than not, the name of the dish included the moniker “Madras”. This made it clear to everyone and all that the dish contained stock, curry powder, cream, some fruit, and flour. There were also salads and cold appetizers using curry powder, which mostly also used to end up being called “Madras”.
Almost nobody had ever tasted a real curry, much less cooked one, so the “classique” French way of preparing “curry sauce”, (sauce au curry à l’indienne) was usually utilized.
Hence – “Madras” or Indian Style. 🙂

>
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here to read about  Commercial Curry Powder  on  ChefsOpinion
>
Click here to learn how to cook  Authentic” Curry Sauce  on  ChefsOpinion
>
Click here to see more  “Curry”  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
>

Cauliflower Salad “Madras”

>

Cauliflower Salad “Madras”

>

Cauliflower Salad “Madras”

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>

>
>
>
>

Tlaxcaltotopochtl Y Ensalada De Camaron Con Aguacate

Tlaxcaltotopochtl Y Ensalada De Camaron Con Aguacate

>
“Totopos With Shrimp And Avocado Salad”.
.
The name  totopo  comes from the Aztec word tlaxcaltotopochtl. It is a combination of the word for a tortilla, tlaxcalli, and the word for thunder.
Combined, it means “tortillas that are noisy to chew”.
Originally, totopos are prepared with corn tortillas. They can be fried, as I have done here, or baked or toasted.
However, I sometimes make totopos with flour tortillas, which makes them lighter and, of course, results in a different, more delicate flavor.
They pair perfectly with this refreshing shrimp and avocado salad and make for a wonderful, tasty snack or appetizer.
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Shrimp  on  ChefsOpinion
>
Click here for more  Tortillas  on  ChefsOpinion
>
Click here for more  Tostadas  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
>

Tlaxcaltotopochtl Y Ensalada De Camaron Con Aguacate

>

Tlaxcaltotopochtl Y Ensalada De Camaron Con Aguacate

>

Tlaxcaltotopochtl Y Ensalada De Camaron Con Aguacate

>

Tlaxcaltotopochtl Y Ensalada De Camaron Con Aguacate

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>

>
>
>
>

Cheese And Potato Vareniki, With Spinach, Bacon and Tomato


>
>
I have to confess – I cheated when I prepared these Vareniki 😦
Instead of preparing the vareniki/pierogi dough fresh and rolling it into thin sheets before cutting, filling, folding and sealing it, I used 1 lb store-bought fresh pasta sheets and my trusted ravioli/pierogi-mold. Not necessarily because I am lazy (well, sometimes I am), but mainly because my counter space is tiny and making fresh pasta dough and stuffed dumpling always results in a huge mess, with flour everywhere, requiring a lot of time to get the kitchen spick and span again.
(However, I do know how to make the dough fresh. 🙂
I have made it a hundred times and I am therefore not embarrassed to admit to the store-bought sheets and the mold) 🙂
The rest of the dish is as easy and quick as 1-2-3. Cook the pasta, saute everything in butter and done !
Here is the recipe for the filling and the final dish :
>
Ingredients and method for filling:

Saute onions in butter until translucent.
Stir in the 2 cup mashed potatoes, grated cheese and yogurt, season with salt and cayenne pepper, mix well. Check/adjust seasoning.
.
Ingredients and method for the rest of the dish:

Cut the dough sheets into rounds corresponding to the size of your ravioli/pierogi-cutter.
Top each round of dough with 1 tblsp cheese/potato filling, add ea round to the ravioli/pierogi-mold.
Moisten the dough’s edges with water, fold over, and press together to seal.
Repeat procedure with the remaining dough and filling.
Cook in boiling salted water until the dough is done, about 3 to 4 minutes, depending on the thickest part of the dough.
Remove with a slotted spoon, drain.
Saute 2 oz chopped bacon, 1 tsp garlic paste, julienne of 1/2 onion, 6 oz fresh spinach in 2 oz butter, add 8 oz fresh spinach and 1/3 cup heavy cream, simmer 1 minute, remove from heat, add julienne of one medium size onion, 1 ea seeded and julienned tomato and the freshly cooked vareniki, check/adjust seasoning. to serve, sprinkle with grated pepper-jack.
Serves 4 appetizers or 2 main courses.
>
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
More  Pierogi on  ChefsOpinion
>
More  Stuffed Dumplings  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
>

Cheese And Potato Vareniki, With Spinach, Bacon and Tomato

>

Cheese And Potato Vareniki, With Spinach, Bacon and Tomato

>

Cheese And Potato Vareniki, With Spinach, Bacon and Tomato

>

Cheese And Potato Vareniki, With Spinach, Bacon and Tomato

>
>
>

>
>
>
>

Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

>

Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

>

Onion soup is a vegetable soup made of sauteed onions and stock. Onion soup was traditionally served in poorer households and lower-class restaurants.
Onion soup is, and was, found in many countries, prepared in many different variations. What all recipes have in common are the onions and stock. From there on, anything goes……….:
Added red or white wine, beer, egg yolk, flour, cream, cheese, herbs, bread, vinegar, sugar, caramelized onions, sauteed but kept-white onions, puréed onions, sliced onion, diced onions, shallots, sausages, sherry, carrots, and probably another thousand different additions, depending on where in the world you encounter your onion soup.
Names/variations include “Pfälzer Zwiebelsuppe”, “Soupe Soubise”, “Schwaebische Zwiebelsuppe”, “Cipollata”,  “Cherbah”, and countless more.
And then, of course, there is the queen of all onion soups! –
Known and loved most everywhere in the world, it is “French Onion Soup” (Soupe à l’oignon / Soupe d’oignons aux Halles/ Soupe à l’oignon gratinée)
What makes this variation so special is the addition of bread and gruyere to the top of the onion soup, then it get’s some time in the oven or under the broiler until the top is a bubbly, fragrant, addictive, gooey mass of melted bread and cheese.
Each heavenly spoonful should contain some of the bread and cheese, some soup, and some onions.
Voilà, now you know why “French Onion Soup” is the best onion soup in the world 🙂
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Onion Soup  on  ChefsOpinion
>
Click here for more  Soup  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
>

Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

>

Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

>

Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

>

Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

>
>
>

 

>
>
>
>

Vanilla Crepes With Caramelized Blackberries & Pomegranate Seeds

Vanilla Crepes With Caramelized Blackberries & Pomegranate Seeds


>
One
has to wonder:
Why are sweet or savory crepes not on everybody’s table at least once a week ???
I can’t recall to ever have met anybody who’d claim not to like crepes, either in its sweet or savory form, or both.
Crepes can be prepared easily by anybody, even by a child or somebody with two left hands. Even if one does not like to cook, these babies need all of a few minutes to prepare, are very economical and, have I said this already? – are easy and quick to prepare.
In its sweet, plain variation, just sprinkle some castor sugar on top and maybe a bit of whipped cream, and you have a great dessert or sweet snack.
It’s savory, plain version will make a quick meal by drizzling a bit of butter on top and serving them with a small salad on the side.
And then, you have the more elaborate stuff 🙂
Savory crepes can be filled with creamed or buttered mushrooms, vegetables, seafood, chicken, game meats, spicy sausages and a myriad of other, more or less fancy goodies.
Sweet crepes will be happy to be married to caramelized fruit, creams, chocolate sauce, puddings, cream cheese (blintzes anyone?), nutella, yogurt, nuts, etc, etc, etc.
I myself have prepared just about any combination of crepes and “stuff” under the sun. I don’t really have a favorite per se, I love ’em all 🙂
So here is a version of crepes with caramelized fruits. I have to admit that the blackberries and pomegranate are rather expensive, especially when you cook for a large family. But be assured, caramelized apples, pears, oranges, bananas, strawberries, or any other more economical fruit will be just as wonderful – yummy to taste and pretty to look at 🙂
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Pancakes  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
>

Vanilla Crepes With Caramelized Blackberries & Pomegranate Seeds

>

Vanilla Crepes With Caramelized Blackberries & Pomegranate Seeds

>

Vanilla Crepes With Caramelized Blackberries & Pomegranate Seeds

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>

 

>
>
>
>